Centre for Instructional and Technology Support
What is academic writing? Well, it is writing done by scholars for scholars. Thanks goodness I am just a student not a scholar hence academic writing does not concern me, right? Wrong! As a university college student you are part of a community of scholars. You are expected to be able to engage in the following activities:
Read about certain ideas
Think about certain ideas
Argue about certain ideas
Write about certain ideas
Before you start to write you have to read widely in your area of interest. Carry out a literature search in the library or an online search in the Internet. Look for relevant ...view middle of the document...
Ask yourself, how do the parts relate to each other and how do they relate to the whole? In the process of analysis, you might pick up ideas to write.
Last but not least, you synthesize by looking for connections between ideas. You may have read many articles on the same topic, all of them in disagreement with one another. How are you going to reconcile these disparate observations or views? You may have to create an umbrella argument to accommodate these observations.
The structure of an academic writing varies but generally you have to include the following:
Tell your readers the ongoing trend of the topic and the latest findings before you declare your side of the argument. That is, you start by giving summaries of other scholars’ work, and then your contribution to the topic. What is your stand in this topic?
This is the most important sentence in your writing. It is usually placed at the end of the introduction. The thesis sentence should declare something interesting and controversial in order to engage the writer as well as the readers in an argument.
Since the thesis sentence presents an arguable point you have to acknowledge the other side(s) of an argument. Consider what your opponents might say against your argument. How are you going to counter these oppositions? Are you going to take each opposing arguments and rebut them one by one?
To provide a convincing argument obviously you must have support. You can organise your argument’s support in paragraphs where each paragraph will declare a point known the paragraph’s topic sentence.
Each topic sentence announces the argument of a particular paragraph. Just like the thesis sentence announcing the argument of the entire paper. The topic sentence controls the evidence provided in your paper. You can place the topic sentence at different places in a paragraph but usually it appears at the beginning of a paragraph.
Writing a conclusion may be easy but writing a good conclusion is difficult. You may want to sum up, but risk saying what you have already said. You may want to leave your readers with new ideas or questions to think about, but risk confusing them instead. Hence, to write a good conclusion you have to find a proper balance.
In an academic...